Building and growing a union isn’t easy, in fact, there are times it can wear us all out. When it feels like it’s all a bit much, then that’s about the time we all need to find a little inspiration to keep that fire lit. What better way to find that inspiration than in the medium we all know and love: Cinema! These are ten wonderful movies – old and new – with stories that revolve around things like political activism and unionisation. The way these films tell their stories is unique and powerful. They may be, for the most part, light on visual effects but they are most definitely heavy on inspiration!
How many have you seen? Do you think we’ve missed any that should be in our list?
Director: Sarah Gavron
Writer: Abi Morgan
In 1912 London, a young working mother is galvanized into radical political activism supporting the right for women to vote, and is willing to meet violence with violence to achieve this end.
The Front (1976)
Director: Martin Ritt
Writer: Walter Bernstein
In 1953, a cashier poses as a writer for blacklisted talents to submit their work through, but the injustice around him pushes him to take a stand.
I’m All Right Jack (1959)
Director: John Boulting
Writers: Alan Hackney (novel), Frank Harvey (screenplay)
A naive aristocrat in search of a career becomes caught up in the struggles between his profit-minded uncle and an aggressive labour union.
Made in Dagenham (2010)
Director: Nigel Cole
Writer: William Ivory
A dramatisation of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.
Bread and Roses (2000)
Director: Ken Loach
Writer: Paul Laverty (screenplay)
Two Latina sisters work as cleaners in a downtown office building, and fight for the right to unionise.
Roger & Me (1989)
Director: Michael Moore
Writer: Michael Moore
Director Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger B. Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing.
Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer: Stephen Beresford (screenplay by)
U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.
Norma Rae (1979)
Director: Martin Ritt
Writers: Irving Ravetch (screenplay), Harriet Frank Jr. (screenplay)
A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.
Brassed Off (1996)
Director: Mark Herman
Writer: Mark Herman
The coal mine in a northern English village may be closing, which would also mean the end of the miners’ brass band.
Director: Jay Roach
Writers: John McNamara, Bruce Cook (book)
In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood’s top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.
Feeling inspired now? Join the VFX Union today!